May 3, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34) warms up before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

How to succeed in fantasy sports (but not at the expense or your marriage or social life)by Jeffrey Littrell

Now that I’ve got your attention, I can freely admit to you, that you can not give your best effort in a fantasy sports league and still hope to have a mutually rewarding relationship with a significant other. It can’t be done. Not on any level, really. You can BE in a fantasy sports league and stay married, but your performance will suffer ( your fantasy performance….well, maybe both ). I know someone who actually leapt out of bed ( at a very inconvenient time, I might add ) in a mad scramble to his computer one evening, after hearing of the season ending injury of superstar closer, Joe Nathan, then of the Minnesota Twins. He was determined to try to grab Jon Rauch or whoever else might be appointed to the esteemed position. The guy in the story wasn’t me. I swear to God it wasn‘t.

Apr 30, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches during the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Yankees won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

The point is, if you are in an active fantasy league you have got to remember that if you snooze, you lose. I’m a little weak at closer in one of my leagues. Recently, it was to the point that I had David Robertson as one of my relievers. At the time, he was having a great season as the New York Yankees set-up man, but I held little hope in getting saves from him, a stat that I needed help with. I then saw on the sports ticker that Jordan Walden had been demoted and that Scott Downs would assume closing duties for the Los Angeles Angels. I got online as soon as possible and my haste was rewarded. I dumped Robertson, ecstatic that this time I had beaten my opponents to the punch. Scott Downs was mine ! You would think I’d won a weekend in Vegas with Cameron Diaz.

So move ahead to May 3, a night that will live in Yankee infamy. The Great One goes down in a heap on the warning track at Kaufman Field in Kansas City, while shagging flies before the game. All Yankee fan’s worst fears are soon realized. Mariano Rivera, Yankee icon, all-time MLB saves leader, and locked-in Hall-Of-Famer, is done for the year. At least. We may never again hear James Hetfield’s opening power chords to “ Enter Sandman” heralding the introduction of Mariano. His career continuing beyond this season was already in doubt, and now this may have brought it to an even swifter conclusion. ( Rivera has since stated a determination to ” not go out like this….. “. )

Now, did I immediately rush to try to pick up David Robertson in every league I’m in ? No. I’d had a big filet at my favorite steakhouse and it had been a long day. I read a little bit and fell asleep. It would keep ‘til morning. You snooze, you lose. The very player I had cut two weeks before had become highly sought after. Some gutless swine beat me to Robertson. Don’t these guys ever sleep ? In a word, no. I’ll bet the guy is a loner, though. A real dweeb. Damn him!

In these days of I-Phones and wireless connections in every hotel and coffee shop, you’ve got to act fast. That overweight, garlic breathed, opponent of yours is in the airport bar at O’Hare and sees the Nationals have just called up Bryce Harper. Who gets to the website first ? You’ve got to seize the moment !

One way to keep tabs on potential major league call-ups, is to find out each team’s top prospects and click them onto your watch list. You might see a star’s availability before anyone else sees it on Sports Center that night. Watch your waiver wire. Daily. You’d be surprised at the moronic decisions I’ve seen fantasy owners make. I’m sure you have seen similar lapses of lucidity. Ryan Braun misses two games with the flu and someone, somewhere will cut him. In the event this happens, will you even check your waiver wire during the short period that he’s up for grabs ?

I guess we all have to make sacrifices in our lives for our families. Seriously, we all know what’s really important in our lives. Heed my warning though, my friend, your fantasy league play will suffer for your clear conscience and sense of right. Remember, nice guys finish last. However, I do sympathize. I realize that I am weak at times, let my guard down, and sometimes miss out on a player. Some things ARE more important.

I do know one thing. If I win a weekend in Vegas with Cameron Diaz, I won’t jump out of bed again for any reason. Errr….I mean, not like that other guy did that time.


Tags: Bryce Harper David Robertson Fantasy Baseball Fantasy Sports Advice General Fantasy MLB Prospects Waiver Wire

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